2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

retail watch

Sharing an Office: OfficeMax, Office Depot Announce Merger

Posted by Dale Buss on February 20, 2013 12:22 PM

One company announced the deal early, but the merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax has been a long time coming.

Office Depot jumped the gun by posting a draft press release about the deal on its web site early this morning; shortly after, the two companies confirmed that a deal was done. The still-to-be-approver merger will create an $18 billion global "office solutions" company whose combination is meant to help them survive the intensifying competition not only with archrival Staples but also with Amazon.com and other retailers that are increasingly peddling office supplies.

"In the past decade, with the growth of the internet, our industry has changed dramatically," Neil Austrian, CEO of Office Depot, said in a press release. "Combining our two companies will enhance our ability to serve customers around the world, offer new opportunities for our employees, make us a more attractive partner to our vendors, and increase stockholder value."Continue reading...

sip on this

Under Fire, Gatorade Changes Its Mix as Dr Pepper Stands Firm On a Claim

Posted by Dale Buss on January 28, 2013 06:35 PM

Consumer activists and trial lawyers have been feeling their oats in recent years as food and beverage companies have found themselves responding to several challenges by regulators. Increasingly, the public seems skeptical of the claims and motives of brands — and eager to take them on.

Two recent cases have nicked brands owned by PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper-Snapple Group — so far, with different outcomes.

PepsiCo announced last week that it would remove an emulsifier from Gatorade that also has applications as a flame retardant, prompting Sarah Kavanagh, a teenager who waged an online campaign against brominated vegetable oil (BVO), to claim victory. Meanwhile, Mott's, owned by Dr Pepper Snapple, is the subject of a recently filed class-action suit that claims "deceptive labeling" of its Mott's for Tots Immune Support Fruit Punch.Continue reading...

truth in advertising

POM Wonderful Stays Unbowed as Regulators Affirm It Must Rein In Claims

Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2013 06:02 PM

One thing can be said for Lynda and Stewart Resnick, the owners of Paramount Farms and the POM Wonderful and Wonderful Pistachios brands: They're certainly aggressive. Wonderful Pistachios is taking on Frito-Lay with its first Super Bowl commercial next month, for instance. And the Resnicks signed on as title sponsor for director Morgan Spurlock's 2011 film about product placement.

So it isn’t surprising that the billionaire philanthropists behind the two highly successful brands aren't backing down in their fight with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over whether their advertising can claim significant health benefits tied to POM.

After more than two years of wrangling, Federal regulators this week released their final ruling against POM and its pomegranate juice, saying advertising for the juice — such as a 2012 print ad headlined “Cheat Death” that aimed to rebut the FTC's case against the brand — made misleading claims about the drink’s health benefits. Continue reading...

brand news

Brands in the News: Dreamliner, GM, Blockbuster and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 17, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

Airbus sees orders fall as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner is grounded in U.S., Japan, Europe and India.

GM woos Facebook to return to paid ads, remains cautious on 2013, defends Opel restructuring and eyes cheaper Chevy Volt.

Blockbuster faces U.K. closure after no buyers emerge.

American Airlines swings to profit and sees “good trajectory” for this year.

Apple rattles Wall Street with sharp stock-price drop.

AT&T looks to Europe for mergers.

Audi aims for 200,000 U.S. sales “sooner” rather than “later.”Continue reading...

web watch

FTC Expands Kids' Online Privacy Act; No App Policing for Web Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 19, 2012 05:53 PM

Two federal actions regarding online privacy for U.S. consumers shed light on the increasing complexity of digital safeguards in today’s wired world.

Flanked by bipartisan legislators and both Houses, the Federal Trade Commission unveiled proposed changes and updates to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa). The legislation was introduced in 1998, a lifetime ago in the social networking milieu of 2012.

The Washington Post calls the FTC proposal a "landmark update," while the New York Times says it "significantly expands the types of companies required to obtain parental permission before knowingly collecting personal details from children, as well as the types of information that will require parental consent to collect."

The Los Angeles Times commented that the FTC is giving "a pass" to Apple, Google and Facebook, as "Federal regulators exempted app purveyors such as Apple's App Store and Google Play from having to police apps. Providers of plug-ins such as Facebook with its 'Like' button were also exempted."

The move also comes during a week when the social web rose up against Instagram for moving to commercial users' photos — and swiftly backpedaled — in a user revolt that had repercussions for the photo-filtering and -sharing site's parent, Facebook, which was lampooned in a new video by Funny or Die today.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Toyota, Domino's Pizza, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 17, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Toyota sets to reclaim world sales crown as GMand Volkswagen vie for No. 2 and hints at elimination of Matrix model.

Domino's Pizza founder sues over Obamacare contraception coverage mandate.

McDonald's tries to get franchisees to stay open on Christmas.

Akamai taps co-founder as new CEO.

Burger King works with franchisee to expand in Mexico.

Chobani nears openingof huge new factory in Idaho.

Cosi uses pop-up unit in Chicago to test growth ideas.

Cox cable TV guide offers personalized recommendations in U.S. first.

Discover Communications makes key European deals.

Facebook counts on big deal with Walmart.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

In the News: The Aftermath of Sandy

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 31, 2012 12:38 PM

While your humbled (by Sandy) editor's NYC apartment is still without power, I've made it to a power outlet and Wi-Fi and finally catching up with some of the impact of the storm on the U.S. and Canada, with 107 people dead and an estimated $20 billion in damages and $30 billion in lost business:

truth in advertising

FTC Clamps Down on Greenwashing With Revised Green Marketing Guides

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2012 06:48 PM

The Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly referred to as the “green” guides, were first published in 1992 to help marketers and advertisers avoid deceptive and far-reaching eco claims without proof or qualification. The final revisions were released Monday with a press conference outlining the changes. 

“The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them,” stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated. The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.”Continue reading...

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